Monday, Bellator President Scott Coker confirmed to MMAJunkie.com that the perennial standout lightheavyweight had signed a multi-fight deal with the promotion. Theterms of the deal were not disclosed.
The 33-year-old Bader last fought in November, stepping in for aninjured AlexanderGustafsson to face AntonioRogerio Nogueira , whom Bader had previously bested viaunanimous decision at UFC 119 in September 2010. In their secondencounter, Bader pulverized “Minotoro,” stopping him with strikeson the ground in the third round. It was the final fight on Bader’sUltimate Fighting Championship contract.
Despite his “Ultimate Fighter” Season 8 victory and compiling a15-5 mark in the Octagon, Bader never earned a crack at the UFClight heavyweight title. When he entered free agency, UFC PresidentDana White was clear that he didn’t expect that to change.
“We had told Ryan Bader hewas good to go,” White said in early February. “We knew he wasgoing to go to Bellator the entire time. I think Bellator is a goodplace for Ryan Bader .At this point in his career, I think it’s the right move forhim.”
Bader has won seven of his last eight bouts dating back to December2013. His lone loss in that span is to UFC title challenger AnthonyJohnson , who knocked him out in 86 seconds in January of lastyear.
No date or opponent has been set for the former Arizona StateUniversity wrestler’s Bellator debut.